Are you nervous about taking your baby or child on a plane trip? You aren't alone, most parents are nervous about it. We have moved with the kids to Alkmaar by car this holiday and drove some distances by car on when we were there and we learned a few things that hopefully will help you.
Bring books, old favourite toys and new surprise toys. Do remember that balls are not a good idea as they can end up anywhere! Our best buys were definitely books, especially sticker books are great! They can peel the stickers off, are glossy, have thick pages to turn easy, have bright colours and come in endless subjects. They're a nice break from the other books your child might be tired of, too. Put aside fears of setting poor eating habits, and bring on the snacks! We told Iris: “Welcome to the world of boredom eating."
Toy bars meant for stroller use are a big help in the car, as they often feature toys plus a snack cup, and are big and easy for you to grab from the front seat for refills. During the car trip it’s always a good idea to play a game and sing some songs. It sounds rather easy, but it does work!
We only have one last statement! Just do it! Don’t be afraid that it might go wrong. We have learned this, because we have been travelling with Iris from the beginning. She was only 6 weeks young when we had our first short vacation and stayed in a hotel. Iris has been used to it rather fast and (maybe because of it) has always been an easy kid to get along with.
After getting a very expensive parking ticket in Ireland, a country where I CAN read the language, I'm always a little reluctant to try and find street parking in foreign countries where I'm a little shaky on it so in the larger tourist oriented cities, we just located a parking garage which is what we did in Nimes. You can follow the blue P signs to located parking, some of it outside and some of it in a garage. We were heading to the Arena first so we parked at the one marked Arenes, parking is by the hour and you can use even American non chip credit cards to pay.
Here's a map and a schedule of the shuttle bus from Nimes Airport to town.
Tickets on board the bus for 5 euro.
I went and stayed at Nimes this June, 2010, via my Rail pass. Hotel Park is about 1.5 miles from the train station. There are two buses - one to downtown and one to the train station. There are taxis on the centre side of the train station, but elsewhere can be challenging. On June 29th a taxis was supposed to pick me up in downtown Nimes in 10 minutes. It never came after 35 minutes, and I missed a bus connection. In frustration I rented a car at the train station for a day to see Pont du Gard (aqueduct), then Orange (Theatre). In summarry, it may be better to stay at Avignon or Arles, if you are relying only on rail and buses.
Some road distances to Nimes from:
- Charleroi (Belgium): 903 kms.
- Madrid (Spain): 988 kms.
- Linz (Austria): 1.260 kms.
- Eger (Hungary): 1.684 kms.
Checking the website, you’ll find more road distances together with the driving times and the best routes.
Nimes Arles airport is really, really tiny, so doesn't have a vast amount of choice when it comes to transport.
You either get a taxi (30+ euro to Nimes) or take the airport shuttle.
The timetable links in with flights, so the bus is waiting when you get out of arrivals (walk to the right) and picks you up in time to get to the airport in plenty of time.
Fare is 5 euro, and the bus stops at various places around the edge of Nimes: the station, Atria, Gambetta, Imperator. My bus driver (same chap both days) was very helpful, and will no doubt tell you where it's best to get off for your hotel if you don't already know.
We flew from London to Nimes with Ryanair. Nimes airport is very small and we were the only flight there on Saturday morning so it didn't take long to get out of the airport. From the airport, there is a scheduled bus which takes you the 10 km to Nimes for 4.30 Euro (as of Oct 2004).
The Nimes "airport" was the tiniest airport I had ever seen. It was more like a large barn structure with few amenities inside. At the time, it received only one flight daily from Stanstead Airport in London, and I was on it. Similarly, there was only one public bus that took passengers to the city, and it left shortly after the plane landed. So, unless things have changed, be warned! I was cluelessly dawdling in the washroom and missed it. I ended up taking a taxi, which took forever to arrive and cost me 20 euros! What a start to a vacation eh?
trains to nimes are frequent, and the TGV from montpellier-lyons-paris stops here (just make sure you get off or youll be going skiing instead of sunbathing)
the train station is a bit out of the centre, we always walked and it took us about 15 minutes from the station to the ampitheatre, but taxis are readily available and not too expensive
We haven't even got there yet, but this is definitely worth recommending....
IDTGV is a new service - it only runs Paris-Nimes/Montpellier and Paris-Toulon at present [July 2005], and is SNCF's version of the Easyjet culture.
You have to book on the web, but can book up to 6 months in advance [rather than 2 months for normal french trains], and the trains have two sections - "Zap" and "Zen".
Also, cheap fares...Paris to Nimes from 19 Euros. 'Nuff sed?
Though its not advertised anywhere and the timetables at the bus stops are wrong. We found the transfer from the airport to Nimes and back easy. Here goes...walk out the small airport and turn right, there is a bus linked to Ryanair flights! its easy to spot as its so quiet an airport. The bus is green and its 1/2 the size of a normal city coach. At the front it says Nimes shuttle in the left hand side of the bus widow about 20 metres from the airport door. The driver will ask you to put your bags in the back if they are big. The fare is 4.30 euros each single. Change is given! This will drop you at various points about the city, the first is the train station. (dont get off like we did) The bus takes about 10 mins to nimes. Travels from the train station up the avenue feucheres then towards bvrd gambetta, then ave jean-jaures. Fortunetly for us we asked the hotel staf for the times. They are linked to the ryanair flights, which was helpfull, we also caught the bus home from the Gambetta stop. All stops are marked by the aiport-navette signs. Unusually and helpfull for worried tourists the bus stops and waits momentarily at all stops, so you know you are not going to get left behind! The same bus and driver was used for both journeys, all the city busses are bigger and white so you cant get confused (see picture of transfer bus)
Nimes has its own airport, which is primarily served by the great budget airline Ryan Air. As such there are often great bargains to be had, and often it can cost less to fly from London than to get the train from nearby Marseille. The airport itself is about 12km out of town, but Ryan Air run a shuttle service to the town centre for 4.30 euros.
Nimes is well served by train, and is crossed by a number of major and minor routes across the country. You can reach Nimes on Eurostar from London, taking the TGV direct from Paris, and sometimes there are great prices, as low as £60 or £70 return from Waterloo. You can also take trains from Nimes to places all over France and the rest of mainland Europe, with direct trains to Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse and many other destinations.
There are local buses in the long boulevard in front of the train station, that run routes throughout the city of Nimes. You can also find buses to locations outside the city, both near and far, from the bus station behind the train station. The website of the bus company for the region can give you more information, and can be found in the link below.
The transport in Nimes is pretty good, with all of the metrpolitan buses congregating just ouside the train station. A single jouney costs 1 euro, and there are detailed maps showing the bus routes at every stop. Also, there are screens which tell you (quite accurately) when the next bus is due.
If you arrive at the train station and want to get to the Temple of Diana and the Jardins de la fontaine, jump on the letter i bus. It passes by the maison carree and the canals.
Remember to validate your ticket when you have bought it by placing it in the orange box behind the driver - the locals are great and will help you if needs be. You must do this, or else your ticket will be invalid.
Buses out of town leave from behind the train station...just walk through, and where you would expect to see the trains, there is a bus station. This is where you must go for the bus to the Pont du Gard - take the bus to Remoulins...it costs about 9 euro 60.
To catch the aeroport navette everyone will tell you to wait outside the train station. However, it is better to walk towards the Novembre 11 Square to the Novotel hotel, as there is a designated navette stop there. No one I could find could give me a timetable for the navette, so leave with plenty of time to get to the aeroport. The navette only offers single journeys which cost 4 euro 30. A taxi to/from the aeroport costs about 20 euro, so if you find other willing people, it might be a good idea.